Pelvic Floor Health: learn how to be mindful and prioritise your pelvic floor health.
Approximately 30% of people have pelvic floor dysfunction which can be easily avoided and treated. Scroll down to read more...
March 16, 2023
Pelvic Floor health is important for everyone. It is estimated that upwards of 30% of people are living with some form of pelvic floor dysfunction and it can be easily avoided or treated with the right support and guidance.
The pelvic floor is a group of muscles and tissues that support the organs in the pelvic region, including the urethra, bladder, and rectum. In females, it also includes uterus, cervix and vagina. Think about the pelvic floor as a hammock or a piece of A4 paper at the bottom of the pelvis. When the pelvic floor is engaged or contracting, it lifts upwards towards your head.
A strong and healthy pelvic floor is essential for urinary and bowel control, sexual function, and overall physical health.
With the stress and strains of everyday life we can place our pelvic floor under pressure without even knowing it and over time this can lead to dysfunction.
The pelvic floor can be impacted by traumatic injuries (such as a car accident), pregnancy and postpartum recovery, overuse of pelvic floor muscles or excessive impact (straining in the bathroom or exercise), excessive weight gain, advancing age, poor posture, lack of strength in muscle tissues.
To help keep on top of your pelvic floor health, there are some tips to help you prioritise and stay mindful of yours:
- Practice Kegel Exercises: Kegels are exercises that involve contracting and relaxing the muscles of the pelvic floor. Regularly practicing Kegels can help improve muscle tone and prevent incontinence. To perform Kegels, tighten your pelvic floor muscles as if you are trying to stop the flow of urine, hold for a few seconds, and then release. Repeat this exercise several times a day or week to build up your muscle strength.
- Maintain Good Posture: Poor posture can put extra strain on the pelvic floor muscles, leading to weakness and incontinence. Practice good posture by sitting up straight, keeping your shoulders relaxed, and aligning your ears, shoulders, and hips.
- Avoid Constipation: Straining during bowel movements can weaken the pelvic floor muscles over time. To avoid constipation, drink plenty of water, eat ahigh-fiber diet, and make sure you are exercising regularly.
- Manage Your Weight: Being overweight or obese can put extra pressure on the pelvic floor muscles, leading to weakness and incontinence. It’s important to maintain a healthy weight through a balanced diet and regular exercise, which will help keep your pelvic floor muscles healthy.
- Avoid Heavy Lifting without Proper Technique: Lifting heavy objects can put extra strain on the pelvic floor muscles, leading to weakness and incontinence. If you are lifting something heavy, be sure to engage your pelvic floor muscles and use proper lifting techniques. Strength training in the gym is great for development of total body strength, improving lifting technique in a safe way, all while protecting and strengthening the pelvic floor.
- Practice Mindfulness: Mindfulness practices such as meditation and deep breathing can help reduce stress and tension in the body, which can contribute to pelvic floor dysfunction. By incorporating mindfulness practices into your daily routine you can help promote overall physical and emotional health.
By being mindful of your pelvic floor health and taking the above steps to prioritise it, you can help prevent pelvic floor dysfunction and maintain optimal physical and emotional well-being for yourself.
If you have specific concerns about your pelvic floor health, or are experiencing issues with bowel/ bladder control, pain or pressure, you should contact your doctor straight away to be assessed and they can recommend the best course of action for you.